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Can’t wait till monsoon

Monsoon may knock at Delhi's door very soon but the Municipal Corporation of Delhi is conveniently avoiding its most important duty — surveying dilapidated and dangerous buildings in the city's two oldest zones.

delhi Updated: Jun 10, 2010 23:13 IST
Neelam Pandey

Monsoon may knock at Delhi's door very soon but the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is conveniently avoiding its most important duty — surveying dilapidated and dangerous buildings in the city's two oldest zones.

Danger Zone
The civic agency is yet to begin this year’s survey of old houses.

1. Procedure
The personnel of the MCD's Dangerous Cell carry out field surveys to ascertain which building needs repair. Depending on the state of the building, MCD either serves a repair notice to the owner/ tenant or an eviction notice if the building needs to be demolished.

2. Dangerous buildings that need repair
200City zone (approx.)
40 Sadar Paharganj Zone

3. Problems
Most buildings in the Walled City are occupied by tenants living there for years. The MCD claims that they are unable to get the buildings repaired as the tenants are not willing to move out.

4. Last survey
As per the status report of dangerous properties on the basis of last year' survey (2007-08), there were 42 properties have been declared dangerous. The MCD’s City Zone has the most number of buildings to be repaired, with at least 164 buildings in bad condition, followed by Sadar Paharganj Zone at 42.

In July 2007, two women and a child were killed and seven injured when a three-story building collapsed in Chandni Chowk area of the Walled City. The building was 70 years old. In August last year, two buildings collapsed in Vishnu Garden and Paharganj but no one was hurt.

The Walled City and its surrounding areas are brimming with 'dangerous' buildings that may collapse any time during the rainy season, resulting in a major mishap.

But the civic body is yet to start the task of surveying such buildings. MCD officials claimed that in Old Delhi there are more than 70 hazardous buildings that are more than 100 years old and need to be demolished immediately.

Most of these buildings are located in Sadar Paharganj and City zones of the MCD. Areas in these two zones include Ballimaran, Seeta Ram Bazar, Chandni Chowk, Shah Ganj, Bharat Nagar, Darbia Paan, Chuna Mandi, Paharganj, among others.

The civic agency carries out an annual survey before the onset of monsoon to identify dangerous buildings in the city. However, on record the last survey was conducted in 2007-08.

"We will be starting the process of conducting the survey soon. Dangerous buildings that need to be demolished and others that need to be repaired will be served notices," said Renu Krishnan Jagdev, deputy commissioner of the Sadar Paharganj zone.

The City Zone of the civic agency that covers areas such as Chandni Chowk, Ballimaran, Seeta Ram Bazaar among others have the highest number of dangerous buildings.

"There are approximately 200 properties that need to be repaired before the monsoon. Of these at least 50 are those that will have to be demolished immediately, as chances of them collapsing during this rainy season is quite high," said a senior MCD official of the City Zone, on condition of anonymity.

"But there are no personnel to carry out the survey. We have now decided to use our own staff of the zone to conduct the survey. It will start within a week's time," added the official.